Earlier this year, a totally crazed report commissioned by (former) competitor AEG called the proposed new NFL stadium in Inglewood a prime terrorist target. Now, a new report from the Federal Aviation Administration says well, it could actually be a potential danger to planes flying into and out of nearby LAX, explaining that "The configuration of the stadium between the two runways, coupled with the uncertainty of its reflective properties" could present a problem, the LA Times reports.
Turns out that sparkly metallic exterior planned to cover the entire stadium (which is proposed as the future home of the St. Louis Rams) might be a big issue because it could "reflect radar signals." Those stylish curves add another complicating factor to the mix, because they make it harder for the FAA to figure out how the structure would affect radar. All of that, coupled with the stadium's location in a flight path, means the stadium is "presumed to be a hazard to air navigation."
The preliminary FAA report offered up a few suggestions that could help mitigate the danger, but they all add up to some massive (and unlikely) changes to the stadium. The report suggests relocating the stadium from its intended site or reducing its height by 100 feet (the stadium is already partially sunken to deal with height requirements near the airport)—neither of which is an easy feat for a project that's already designed and entitled. Even "the preparation work to begin construction on the 290-acre site is nearly completed" at this point, planners tell the Times. Definitely a bad time to move the whole thing or make a massive height reduction. Still, the NFL has yet to actually grant a team to Los Angeles, let alone approve a stadium plan, and the Rams are competing with a promising Chargers/Raiders proposal in Carson.
There is a third suggestion, though, and that's to cover the sections of shiny stadium in "radar-absorbing material." Such material costs $40 to $80 per square foot, so for an 80,000-seat stadium, that's going to be pricey.
Stadium developers (among them, Rams owner Stan Kroenke) have 60 days to respond to the FAA's preliminary report. A rep for the FAA underscored the fact that this report is just a jumping-off point, and that the developers can either use the report's information to make changes to the project or they can gather proof that the structure won't mess with airplane radar.
· Proposed NFL stadium in Inglewood faces FAA scrutiny over height, effects on radar [LAT]
· Insecure NFL Stadium Developer Accuses Other NFL Stadium of Being a Terrorist Target [Curbed LA]
· Inglewood NFL Stadium Reveals Plans For Enormous, See-Through, Billboard Roof [Curbed LA]